Tuesday, April 05, 2011

12 million problems for Euro 2012

Great news! Fans signed up for 12 million tickets for the football (soccer for some) European Championships known as Euro 2012 being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine in June 2012. Bad news is they have nearly no chance of getting a single ticket as most will go to sponsors. With the record number of the mere public interested in tickets, I can imagine communication problems given the delays in all sorts of infrastructure projects. Thus, the lucky few who win the ticket (yes, dear readers, you have to WIN the right to BUY a ticket in a lottery that you separately PAY for) will need even more luck to make it to the stadium on time. Poland will "organise" public transport to deliver fans to the stadiums. It is practicing very hard now, as you can see on the photo.

This picture shows yet another problem: Poland's very specific and original fan culture. This is one that requires the most dedicated supporters to use knives, axes and machetes to express love for their beloved club. These fans will stop at nothing to express deep affection for the well being of their team, even if it means hitting a few... players, as happened recently in the Polish league. This was to motivate them to play harder, obviously. Problem is, this kind of support is misunderstood outside of Poland. People do not comprehend that it is a matter of principles in one's life: the club first, then alcohol, drugs, fights. Not the other way around.

Unfortunately, when I watch the Polish national team actually play football a strange feeling builds inside of me...I start looking around for sharp objects pondering whether to use them on myself and end the misery or on the players. It is hard to believe considering all the other problems, but they are still the weakest link in the country's preparations for the tournament.

2 comments:

  1. I have written about this on my blog previously. I can't speak with any authority about the chuligani problem, or potential problem, but I do worry that UEFA and 2012.pl have serious underestimated the total visitors (which they put at 1million) over the course of the tournament. If they've got the number wrong then almost all of the logistic preparations will go tits-up, as we say. To me this is the most significant potential risk to a successful championship.

    Paddy

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  2. I agree completely. I recall that already two years ago 2012.pl was saying that they are focusing on coordinating flights-trains-special buses connections, what to my ears sounded like a description of a long cattle-herding operation. Tourists come out of planes, then onto "special" trains, then buses and into stadiums. After the game - we do it all over again. Given that situation since then deteriorated in terms of potential infrastrure projects - I think this is a logistics disaster waiting to happen.

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